Suggestion number 1 for Thing 4 is to Google yourself (funny how Google is a verb and a noun). I’ve never done this, I don’t think I wanted to know what ‘the internet’ thought or knew about me.
I was surprised that an old picture from MySpace came up as well as an old Facebook profile picture and some pins from my Pinterest account! I felt quite shocked and I noticed those butterflies again.
I immediately logged onto Pinterest and tried to lock that down, unsuccessfully. I clicked the button not to appear on search engines but the pictures still appeared when I re-googled myself straight away and then again the next day. So instead I considered why this concerned me. It’s just pictures of things I thought were pretty. I don’t use Pinterest for anything ‘bad’ and I didn’t feel it revealed anything in particular about me – my tastes are pretty generic. I considered deleting the account but decided instead to focus on acceptance of some cross over between personal and public aspects of myself. I’m still musing that over.
Then the MySpace account. I clicked on the link to see what else could be seen. Just 1 picture of me and a friend from when we were about 16. Again nothing incriminating or embarrassing. I considered trying to log in to delete the account but realised I had no idea what username, password or email address I might have used. Again I came back to the idea of accepting that this picture was available in the public domain.
Finally the old Facebook profile picture. This had come up on a website for the ‘Chin up Collective’ which is an art collective that runs a little family friendly art festival every other summer (as well as doing other arty things). I have been part of the committee organising the event. I hadn’t realised that my name and picture was up there on the site so I was surprised by this and initially felt cautious about the presence of the picture. It was perfectly reasonable however for it to be there and I’ve probably just forgotten that the picture was there. I’m proud to be involved with the collective so this one didn’t really bother me – at least not now I know that it’s there.
The second suggestion was to look yourself up on social mention, but I didn’t come up on the first page so I didn’t look any further. There are lots of other ‘Hampsons’ though which interested me. But I didn’t nose any further – I do think of it as being nosey.
The final suggestion was to link up social media accounts. As you can probably tell from my reaction to pictures of myself being available on Google I feel a bit ‘funny’ about having a publicly available presence. I don’t think I want to link up my social media accounts yet but I’ll work towards a cohesive me throughout the course.
I totally forgot!
My LinkedIn profile came up as well! I was reading the Twitter part of the 23 Things Blog and realised that I was so concerned with my picture being available that I forgot the whole professional side of social media.
I did have a little look at my LinkedIn profile from the ‘outside’ as it was. I haven’t updated it since starting the Doctorate so everything is out of date. I know I have pending requests (although I couldn’t see them from the profile view). I haven’t uploaded a picture – ironic that my picture is out there but not on a site where it would actually be useful. I’m going to wait until LinkedIn week to update this now though.